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I was terminated after I tested positive for a legally prescribed pain med-morphine-on a DOT pre-employment drug test

El Portal, CA |

After surgery for a workers comp condition I was released for modified duty then took a DOT required pre-employment drug test three days after stopping the prescription pain med morphine. When the result came back positive my employer terminated me with the condition of rehire if I was assessed by a substance abuse professional and cleared to return to duty. Several weeks later I met with the SAP and told her I had not taken any pain meds in over a month and had no desire to take pain meds since the surgery fixed the pain. Despite being drug free the SAP sentenced me to 6 months residential inpatient-detox rehab. Because I was fired I lost my employer paid medical insurance and all the rehab centers I called wanted payment up front and an average $1000 to $2000 per day fees. Now what?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Really? Find another job, pass the DOT physical, and move forward.

    I represent Employers, but I can recommend Worker Attorneys in So Cal if you ask.


  2. Do the rehab and find a new job when you complete it. Otherwise, find another occupation.

    There is no unlawful conduct here.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


  3. I have read your extended info posted in response to Mr. Corson. This is a tough situation. Your termination was not unlawful based on the facts you have reported. But clearly, the usual "solutions" will not meet your specific needs. I can make one potentially effective suggestion: retain a LOCAL attorney, one who is very active in local legal and community affairs and matters, one who is well-known to and highly respected by your employer's executives and managers. Retain this highly and specifically-skilled individual attorney attorney not to wage a full-on legal fight, but to find an access point within your employer's governance structure for meaningful diplomacy and negotiations, and to attempt to obtain by conciliation and agreement what probably cannot be obtained through a legal war.

    I wish you luck.

    No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.

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